With Thursday night's 2018 NBA Draft approaching, four of The Chronicle's editors in the sports department give their opinions on how the lottery will shake out and where the top five Blue Devil prospects will land in Brooklyn.

Michael Model

V. 114 Sports Editor and V. 113 Assistant Blue Zone Editor

Duke’s picks:

Marvin Bagley III: 2nd, Sacramento Kings. Talks of the Kings selecting Bagley with the second pick over Doncic have gained steam over the last few days and understandably so. Bagley’s size and athleticism would give the Kings a dominant offensive presence down low and could fit in at the four alongside Willie Cauley-Stein. Bagley also seems to be a safer pick for Sacramento that Doncic after showing off his more developed offensive game at Duke. The Kings have been unable to find their centerpiece in recent years after struggling on draft day with disappointments like Ben McLemore and Skal Labissiere and are getting desperate for a player to build around.

Wendell Carter Jr.: 7th, Chicago Bulls. In order for Lauri Markannen to best utilize his shooting ability considering his size, the Bulls need a strong inside presence to draw in the defense. Carter has shown he can be a go-to scorer on the interior when needed despite playing alongside Allen and Bagley at Duke. In addition, his size and shot-blocking ability can help anchor the defense and protect the paint alongside a strong shooting, perimeter team. 

Gary Trent Jr.: 28th, Golden State Warriors. Trent went on a tear from downtown during the start of conference play and is likely the best pure shooter in the draft. However, Trent is also one of the streakiest shooters in the draft and partnered with his defensive liabilities will need some development on the bench. While the Warriors are known for their deep shooting, their three-point depth on their bench is fairly thin and after opting for defense the last few years with Patrick McCaw and Kevon Looney it’s never too soon to start prepping for the inevitable loss of Curry, Thompson or Durant in years to come.

Grayson Allen: 38th, Philadelphia 76ers. After a chaotic four years at Duke, I can’t see draft night going quiet for Allen and I imagine him dropping into the early second round. Allen’s future in my opinion is as a deadly catch and shoot player and who better to pair up with than fellow Blue Devil J.J. Reddick. While the 76ers four point line may be for spacing only, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Allen pulling up from 30 feet for the Sixers in the near future. 

Trevon Duval: 46th, Houston Rockets. Duval never really seemed to find his groove at Duke, struggling to play with the ball further than 10 feet from the basket. While Duval has shown his ability to make flashy passes, carelessness with the ball has also cost his team. The Rockets have plenty of offensive pieces and could use another dynamic passer off the bench. If Duval can learn some control playing behind Chris Paul, he’ll get by without sharpshooting ability.

The Lottery:

  1. Phoenix Suns - Deandre Ayton, Arizona
  2. Sacramento Kings - Marvin Bagley III, Duke 
  3. Atlanta Hawks - Luka Doncic, Slovenia
  4. Memphis Grizzlies - Mo Bamba, Texas
  5. Dallas Mavericks - Jaren Jackson, Michigan State
  6. Orlando Magic - Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
  7. Chicago Bulls - Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
  8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) - Trae Young, Oklahoma
  9. New York Knicks - Collin Sexton, Alabama 
  10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers) - Mikal Bridges, Villanova
  11. Charlotte Hornets - Kevin Knox, Kentucky
  12. Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) - Miles Bridges, Michigan State
  13. Los Angeles Clippers - Robert Williams, Texas A&M
  14. Denver Nuggets - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky

Winston Lindqwister

V. 114 Sports Managing Editor 

Duke’s picks:

Marvin Bagley III: 4th, Memphis Grizzlies. Bagley’s lone year at Duke saw him as the centerpiece to one of the nation’s most efficient collegiate offensive machines last season. However, compare him to top prospects like Deandre Ayton and Luke Doncic and the former Blue Devil falls a couple rungs from the top draft spot. As much as Bagley would hate to admit it, Ayton takes the top spot easily as a highly physical freak with a decent shot to go along with it. Although rumors have been swirling around of the former Duke athlete being a lock for the Kings, I feel like Doncic’s pedigree as an outstanding shooter and defender will push him a cut above. Where things get interesting is with Atlanta’s pick. Although Bagley easily tops Mo Bamba on all offensive metrics, the former Blue Devil has shown some serious weaknesses in his defensive game. The Hawks may feel that Bamba will make a perfect fit as a defensive anchor and starting center and will ultimately take the former Texas freshman as their lottery pick. Thus, Bagley lands in Memphis as the fourth overall pick, with his athleticism and scoring potential far too irresistible for the Grizzlies to ignore.

Wendell Carter Jr.: 7th, Chicago Bulls. My home state bias may be showing for this selection, but I think Carter will be the missing ingredient the Bulls need to break out of a six year downward spiral. With the likes of Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine there to stretch the floor, all the Bulls need to round out their roster is a solid presence in the interior. Carter would fit the bill perfectly, as he has demonstrated throughout the season great awareness on the defensive end of the floor as well as dominance at the rim. I wouldn’t be surprised if Carter picked up starting minutes quickly, as his ability to pick up boards and block shots will be too good to sleep on.

Grayson Allen: 25th, Los Angeles Lakers. After a rollercoaster of a college career, its been unclear if Allen would be able to hold on to real estate in the first round. However, after an impressive performance in the draft combine, I feel like the Duke graduate will find his way into the tail-end of the first round. For the Lakers—a team that ranked 29th out of 30 from beyond the arc last season—a prolific shooting threat like Allen would be invaluable. Allen would also have the opportunity to play with former teammate Brandon Ingram, a callback to the Duke graduate’s impeccable 2015-2016 season.

Gary Trent Jr.: 35th, Orlando Magic. In a year where the Blue Devils were aching for a reliable threat from the perimeter, Trent had ample opportunity to showcase his stroke from distance. Although he proved to be one of the most dangerous shooters in the ACC, the former Blue Devil also showed a worrying tendency for streakiness. To make matters worse, Trent had trouble staying quick on the defensive end, struggling to keep opponents in front of him and directly contributing to Duke adopting a 2-3 zone. With these defensive struggles in mind I have to put Trent in the second round despite his shooting potential. However, there is some upside for the former Duke freshman. With the value of three-and-D players growing in the NBA, Trent could have a long career ahead of him if he can adopt the coveted archetype. He already has one half of the equation, now it’s up to him to develop the other half.

Trevon Duval: 53rd, Oklahoma City Thunder. As a Blue Devil, Duval struggled mightily up until the waning weeks of his collegiate career. Despite being an athletic specimen, Duval’s inability to land a jumper or consistently bury a three makes him a tough sell as a guard. Couple that with some questionable decision making in clutch situations and a tendency to be overly aggressive on the defensive end, any team that picks him up will have their work cut out for them in making him NBA ready. In my opinion, putting him behind Russell Westbrook could help him learn how to maximize his talents as a cut-to-the-rim point guard.

The Lottery:

1. Phoenix Suns — Deandre Ayton, Arizona

2. Sacramento Kings — Luca Doncic, Slovenia

3. Atlanta Hawks — Mo Bamba, Texas

4. Memphis Grizzlies — Marvin Bagley III, Duke

5. Dallas Mavericks — Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State

6. Orlando Magic — Michael Porter Jr., Missouri

7. Chicago Bulls — Wendell Carter Jr., Duke

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) — Trae Young, Oklahoma

9. New York Knicks — Collin Sexton, Alabama

10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers) — Mikal Bridges, Villanova

11. Charlotte Hornets — Miles Bridges, Michigan State

12. Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) — Kevin Knox, Kentucky

13. Los Angeles Clippers — Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech

14. Denver Nuggets — Lonnie Walker IV, Miami

Hank Tucker

V. 113 Sports Editor and V. 112 Blue Zone Editor

Duke’s picks:

Marvin Bagley III: 2nd, Sacramento Kings. The highlight films of Luka Doncic in Europe are certainly impressive, but if I were an NBA general manager, I wouldn’t take that chance over a proven and polished offensive product like Bagley. He’ll be an immediate threat to score in bunches wherever he goes, and I think he’ll come off the board right after Deandre Ayton to join a young Sacramento team. His defensive deficiencies are a legitimate question mark, but Bagley is athletic enough to develop into a solid player on that end of the floor.

Wendell Carter Jr.: 7th, Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have a lot of shooters, including stretch four Lauri Markkanen, shooting guard Denzel Valentine and athletic point guard Zach LaVine, and adding Carter to the mix would give them a presence on the boards and a player they can count on for offense under the basket. Like Bagley, I’m expecting Carter to quickly become a starter and make an impact right away as a rookie.

Grayson Allen: 27th, Boston Celtics. After a strong showing at the NBA Draft Combine in May, I think Allen winds up sneaking into the first round and going to Boston, which could be next season’s prohibitive Eastern Conference favorites if LeBron James goes West. Allen would be an ideal sparkplug off the bench for a contender, and he’s capable of rising to the occasion as a reserve in big moments, as we all saw in the 2015 national championship game.

Gary Trent Jr.: 33rd, Dallas Mavericks. I think Trent will just miss out on the first round, similar to Frank Jackson last year, but I could see him slotting in as a meaningful piece for a rebuilding team like the Mavericks alongside former Blue Devil Seth Curry. Anybody with a shooting stroke like his will find a way to stick in the league, even if his complete lack of defensive ability was the driving force behind Duke’s switch to zone last season.

Trevon Duval: 51st, New Orleans Pelicans. There aren’t a lot of opportunities in today’s NBA for point guards who can’t shoot, and Duval didn’t do himself any favors last year with a perimeter shot that was inconsistent at best and questionable decision-making at times as a ball-handler. He’ll get drafted, but just barely, and he’ll have to fight in training camp to make a roster.

The Lottery:

  1. Phoenix Suns — Deandre Ayton, Arizona
  2. Sacramento Kings — Marvin Bagley III, Duke
  3. Atlanta Hawks — Luka Doncic, Slovenia
  4. Memphis Grizzlies — Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
  5. Dallas Mavericks — Mo Bamba, Texas
  6. Orlando Magic — Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
  7. Chicago Bulls — Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
  8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) — Collin Sexton, Alabama
  9. New York Knicks — Trae Young, Oklahoma
  10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers) — Mikal Bridges, Villanova
  11. Charlotte Hornets — Lonnie Walker IV, Miami
  12. Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) — Kevin Knox, Kentucky
  13. Los Angeles Clippers — Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech
  14. Denver Nuggets — Miles Bridges, Michigan State

Mitchell Gladstone

V. 113 Sports Managing Editor

Duke’s picks:

Marvin Bagley III: 2nd, Sacramento Kings. Bagley called Deandre Ayton “disrespectful” for saying that Phoenix will make the former Wildcat the top overall selection. And while Bagley’s comments are most than fair, Ayton is probably right. That said, I don’t think it takes long for Bagley to hear his name called as he goes No. 2 overall to Sacramento. Originally, I’d slotted Luka Doncic here, but there are reports that they’ll pass on the Slovenian wünder-teen for MB3, so I’ll make the change.

Wendell Carter Jr.: 8th, Cleveland Cavaliers. There are flashier names in this year’s top 10, but I see Carter as someone with the potential to have a lengthy career—maybe 12-15 seasons as an above-average rotation piece, even if he is never a true star. Who knows what the Cavaliers look like this season if LeBron leaves this summer, but Carter would give them a piece they can rely on for a while if they take him at No. 8.

Gary Trent Jr.: 36th, New York Knicks. It’s hard for me to project Trent long-term. He’s a very mediocre defender, yet at 6-foot-5 with long arms, he’s got the potential to develop into a smaller 3-and-D-type player. Some people think he might be a late first-rounder, but I’ll slot him to New York in the 2nd round with the 36th overall selection—the Knicks finished 27th of 30 teams in 3-point percentage last season.

Trevon Duval: 44th, Washington Wizards. Duval didn’t really have much choice but to leave Duke. His game was not going to evolve further for sure, and with Tre Jones set to take over at point, it was unclear what his playing time would like like in 2018-19. Let’s send him to Washington at No. 44 where he can learn from one of the league’s best point guards in John Wall.

Grayson Allen: 26th, Philadelphia 76ers. I know, this is a homer pick right here, but I think Grayson is a great fit with the Sixers at No. 26, making him the Blue Devils’ third first-round pick in 2018. Philadelphia is a team that is ready to contend and it needs some cheaper pieces if it’s going to go for the big fish in free agency. Whether or not fellow Dukie J.J. Redick returns, Allen can return to being a shoot-first guard with Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz and T.J. McConnell manning the point and his confidence makes him a guy who can become an immediate rotation player.

The Lottery:

  1. Phoenix Suns — Deandre Ayton, Arizona
  2. Sacramento Kings — Marvin Bagley III, Duke
  3. Atlanta Hawks — Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
  4. Memphis Grizzlies — Luka Doncic, Slovenia
  5. Dallas Mavericks — Mo Bamba, Texas
  6. Orlando Magic — Trae Young, Oklahoma
  7. Chicago Bulls — Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
  8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) — Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
  9. New York Knicks — Collin Sexton, Alabama
  10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers) — Mikal Bridges, Villanova
  11. Charlotte Hornets — Miles Bridges, Michigan State
  12. Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) — Kevin Knox, Kentucky
  13. Los Angeles Clippers — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky
  14. Denver Nuggets — Lonnie Walker IV, Miami